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Seated exercise can strengthen the upper body.
Whether you sit in a chair all day at the office or are too tired to exercise after a day at work, there are upper body exercises you can do while sitting. Squeezing in even a few exercises while sitting can help you strengthen your arms, chest and shoulders. Try to exercise at least twice a week and use repetitions, meaning repeating each exercise, for long-term positive results.
Improving Arm Strength
There are several exercises you can do to strengthen your arms while sitting. Improving the biceps and triceps will make it easier to lift and carry special loads, such as grandchildren, or daily necessities like gallons of milk and bags of groceries. The overhead arm raise works the triceps, the muscles in the outside of your upper arm. Extend your arms to your sides at shoulder height and bend your elbows, palms facing each other. As you exhale, raise your arms up over your head, keep your elbows slightly bent, keeping your palms facing each other. Hold for one second and inhale as you lower your arms to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times. The arm curl works the biceps, the muscles on the inside of your upper arm. Relax your arms at your side, palms forward. Bend your elbows toward your chest as you exhale, keeping your elbows hugged to your sides. Hold for one second and breathe in as you release your arms back to your side. Repeat 10 to 15 times. As both exercises become easier, you can add small weights to challenge yourself.
Exercise Your Chest
Strengthening the muscles in your chest can effectively be accomplished while sitting. Work your pectoral muscles with a row exercise. Attach two resistance bands shoulder-width apart on a secure surface, such as stair rungs. From your chair, take a resistance band in each hand and pull the band back until it becomes taut. Switch sides and repeat. As you continue to exercise, you can try pulling both bands simultaneously.
Strengthen Your Shoulders
Exercising your shoulders makes it easier to do heavy lifting. To do a front arm raise, sit in a chair with your arms down at your sides and palms facing backward. Keeping your arms straight, exhale as you raise your arms in front of you slowly, stopping when your arms are shoulder height. Hold the position for one second and inhale as you lower your arms. Repeat at least 10 times. The side arm raise works the shoulders from another angle. Start by moving your feet shoulder-width apart to ground yourself. Your arms should be relaxed at your side, palms facing inward. As your exhale raise your arms to the side until they reach shoulder height, your upper body should resemble the letter "T." Hold for one second and inhale as your lower your arms slowly. Repeat 10 to 15 times. As you get stronger, challenge yourself by using dumbbells with these exercises.
Stretch It Out
An integral part of any exercise regimen includes stretching, which increases flexibility, which may prevent injury. Cow Face pose stretches the arms, chest and shoulders. Scoot forward in your chair so you can move your arms behind your back. Extend your right arm up so that your upper arm is alongside your face. Bend your elbow so you are patting yourself on your upper back. Keep your left arm along your left side and bend at the elbow, so you are patting yourself on your lower back. Try to bring your hands to meet. If you can't hold a piece of rope or ribbon and walk your hands toward one another, working toward the goal of bringing your hands to meet.